That’s Mr. Jackson Harper to you
William Jackson Harper is a true original with a lovable quirkiness that made him the perfect actor to play snarky telepath ‘Quaz’ in Marvel Studios’ Phase 5 opener Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania.
The intriguing character has the ability to read minds as a member of freedom-fighting warriors (and strange beings) who battle Kang The Conquerer (Jonathan Majors) in the Quantum Realm.
With the multiverse in jeopardy, it’s up to our favorite very big or very small Avenger and the butt-kicking Wasp to help Quaz and the Quantum Realm rebels defeat Kang before it’s too late.
Check out the trailer below:
Directed by Peyton Reed, the blockbuster threequel (that opened with a massive $104 million in the U.S.) stars Paul Rudd, Jonathan Majors, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and Kathryn Newton.
We caught up with Harper to talk everything Quantumania and nerd out over the MCU in the interview you can enjoy below:
Bossip: In Quantumania, you play a telepath–a mind reader, a freedom fighter. Tell me, what has it been like navigating this journey in your first major blockbuster?
William Jackson Harper: You know, it’s hard to describe just because I’m just kind of in it, you know? Like, it’s so weird to talk about this now because I shot it so long ago. Right? Now I’m like people are getting to see it but I rapped on it well over a year ago and that’s sort of wild but it’s cool to see it, getting to go to the premiere–I’ve never done anything of that magnitude–getting to see all of that was was really cool.
I was just so curious… what that would be like and I got to actually see it. So yea, it’s a really interesting experience to see that thing that I’ve seen before from afar and actually get in the middle of it.”
Bossip: Is the MCU everything you imagined? What’s it like being an MCU? Do they have snacks in the back?
William Jackson Harper: ‘(laughs) I’ll tell you what, it’s like this: Everything is normal until it’s not. The day that you go to a premiere and the day that you do any kind of press feel like, ‘Whoa!’ these are wild days, and then you go back to walking your dog.
You know, everything in my life is pretty much normal until those days where it’s just not normal. It’s weird to be in it and still be starstruck by the people that you’re around. Like, that’s the thing that keeps happening to me. It’s like I’m always starstruck by the folks that I’m working with and I try to keep it under wraps and, you know, chill, but that’s the thing that I kind of have to rein in a little bit is how starstruck I get.’
Bossip: There haven’t been a lot of Black characters with abilities in Sci-Fi movies–did that cross your mind at all during while filming this movie?
William Jackson Harper: ‘You know, not a whole lot. I realized it when the first Black Panther came out that I was watching something that was, you know, this commercial, this lovingly rendered, that features all people that look like me, you know, that was when I was like, ‘Oh, right!’
It’s like, this is rare. This is rare. And before seeing Quantumania, I saw Wakanda Forever and I’m like, ‘right, this isn’t in the norm,’ you know, like, this isn’t what we’re used to seeing.
And so I feel that when I’m watching those movies–I think about it less when I’m working though, right? And then when I go and see stuff like Black Panther and Wakanda Forever that’s when I’m really aware of like, ‘oh, wow!’ These are the movies that are made for the folks like me who are nerds who love this stuff.’
Bossip: We saw that you put Infinity War in your Top 3 Marvel movies of ALL-TIME. Who would you put your money on in a battle between Quantumania big bad Kang and Thanos?
‘I would probably put my money on Kang, at this point, just because I think that with the ability to manipulate timelines that could trump a lot of the things that an Infinity Gauntlet can do.
Because then you can have an incursion and just wipe out his whole thing. This is such a nerdy talk but it just feels like the scale of what Kang can do when it comes to time and different timelines makes him a much bigger threat.’
Bossip: Most people wouldn’t want the ability to read minds–I’ve seen you say that, and I feel the same way, but if you had to read one person’s mind, any person that you could pick, whose mind would you want to read? And why?
William Jackson Harper: Oh, my partner, my partner’s just so I can avoid getting in trouble. I won’t say otherwise. I don’t need to know anybody else’s stuff.’
Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumnania is now playing in theaters everywhereI